« Don't know no English.... | Gene Expression Front Page | Grade inflation »
January 29, 2003

Wealth is proportional to SATs???

Joanne Jacobs talks about an interesting study that indicates that black families of the same wealth as white families had kids with the same SAT scores. In sharp contrast, it has been long known that income != high SATs for middle-class black communities [1].

[1] != is "does not equal"

Posted by razib at 12:28 AM

This makes perfect sense is there's a correlation between wealth and IQ.

Posted by: wordwarp at January 29, 2003 01:59 AM

What I can't get is the logic of these 3 statements.

High black income doesn't mark school achievement.

"Blacks actually save more than whites"

High black assets do mark school achievement.

What is the hidden force that prevents those saving blacks from attaining assets?

Posted by: Dick Thompson at January 29, 2003 07:19 AM

Privatizing social security, where the private accounts are heritable would help blacks accumulate assets, especially since their life expectancy is lower.


Posted by: David at January 29, 2003 09:49 AM

That is interesting. I had seen at least one study comparing white SAT scores from families with less than 10k income, with black SAT from families with more than 70k. The white scores were still higher. It is hard for me to believe that the poor white families in that study actually had less wealth than the 70k black families. But this author may have found something new. I wonder how he measured wealth.

Posted by: Mana at January 29, 2003 03:46 PM

Um, why is it hard for you to believe that the poor white families in that study actually had less wealth than the 70k black families? Sounds logical that they would have less wealth. Am I missing something?

Posted by: Diana at January 29, 2003 07:00 PM

diana, i think mana was wondering that IF there is a direct proportional relationships between wealth (assets) & SAT score [think of assets as the independent variable upon with SAT depends]-if you have far lower SAT scores (70 K family) vs. higher ones (10 K family)-then if your relation holds, somehow the 10 K family should have more assets if SAT is dependent on that variable.

i think what i just said is confusing....


assume a model-

(SAT) = (wealth)(constant)

if wealth is the main variable accounting for differences in SAT score, than for any two groups the constant should be about the same.

so if (SAT of group A) > (SAT of group B), then
(wealth of group A)*(constant of A) > (wealth of group B)*(constant of B)

if the constant of group A & B is the same (wealth is the main factor in the proportionality relationship)-then for any given group with higher SAT scores, the wealth should be higher.

i suspect that wealth isn't as important as this study would imply. in fact, it might be better modeled with the SAT as the independent variable => (wealth) = SAT * constant, but that is not as popular an answer as it once would have been.

Posted by: razib at January 29, 2003 07:17 PM

Diane, I meant to say what Razib said. It seems unlikely that a family with less than 10k income has more wealth than a family with more than 70k. But this would have to be the case if Joanne Jacob's results hold true.

Posted by: Mana at January 30, 2003 10:02 AM

This study proves that both for scoring high on the SAT or inheriting a nice nest egg, you should choose your parents wisely.

Posted by: Steve Sailer at January 30, 2003 06:57 PM